“We’re In This Together”
“As we continue working to assure a healthy City of St. Louis as an equitable community, achieving optimal health for all, we pause on February 7, to observe National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAA),” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.
(NBHAAD) occurs every year on February 7th. It is a national observance that presents an opportunity to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among and within black communities. The first NBHAAD was created in 1999 as a grassroots educational effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment in communities of color.
“This year’s NBHAAD theme We’re In This Together speaks to the heart of effective HIV prevention and response efforts,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols director of health for the City of St. Louis. “Every life in our community has value, and we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in our communities.”
Compared with other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS. African American communities also continue to experience higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than other racial/ethnic communities in the United States, which significantly increase a person’s chance of getting and transmitting HIV.
Other challenges to prevention of HIV in African American communities include lack of awareness (1 in 7 African Americans with HIV do not know they have it), socioeconomic issues related to poverty (limited access to healthy lifestyle resources like quality health care, adequate housing and, illness prevention education tools), and stigma, fear discrimination, and homophobia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2018 approximately 4 percent were among adult and
adolescent African Americans, 31 percent were among African American men, and 11 percent were among African American women. African American gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.
To obtain free educational materials, safer sex resources, and local resources for sexual health testing, treatment, and support information visit www.STLCondoms.com
For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/blackhivaidsawareness/
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Department of Health